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What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Hypocrites AT The Gate

When conservatives talk about what they stand for, often they will mention the importance of limited government intrusion of state's rights. They believe that big government should not interfere with the way state government is run.

They say these things, but they don't really mean it.

Republicans are all for state's rights, until that state does something they don't like, and suddenly it's big government to the rescue. We saw that in the 2000 election, when the Bush team was able to stop the recount of votes by getting the Supreme Court involved.

Republicans once again have their eye on Florida. This time, interfering with the life of Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman who has been in a vegetative state since 1990 following severe brain damage when her heart stopped due to a chemical imbalance.

Schiavo's husband, Michael, contends that his wife did not want to be kept alive should she be in a condition where she could not live without the use of medical equipment to keep her alive.

Her parents contend that Schiavo's husband should not be involved at all.

So, it's a horrible situation for everyone involved. But why does Congress need to get involved in this issue? This is between the family, doctors, and the state of Florida. Congress needs to leave this one alone. If it were me, I would not want Tom Delay or anyone in Congress, Republican or Democrat, to decide my fate.

Here we have another example of how Republicans pick and choose the issues they deal with, rather than dealing with issues consistently.

Where were these "compassionate" conservatives when a juvenile was put to death? Where was their outrage when we learned that youths as young as 11 were being kept as prisoners in Iraq? How about when the state of Texas executed a mentally retarded man? Where were the Republicans? Nowhere. Republicans like executions, and they've never been concerned if it was someone under the age of 18 being executed.

No, this is all political grandstanding, designed to usurp the legal authority of Florida. However, with Governor Jeb Bush opposing the removal of the feeding tube, one has to wonder if Jeb didn't get on the phone with brother George and see if there was anything that could be done.

I know, my right-wing readers will claim I want this woman to die. That's not true. I just don't want to have Congress interfering.

This terrible tragedy also serves as a reminder of how important a living will is. Make your intentions known for how you want to be treated if you are ever in a situation where you cannot make decisions for yourself. The American Bar Association has a resource page with all the information needed to draft a living will. It's an important document.

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